In this very special 100th episode, previous guests come back on to share an update of what’s changed since they were last on the show, what’s surprised them, and what they’ve learned along the way
Lisa Kivirist of Browntown, WI shares an update on the past, present, and future of the cottage food and food freedom movements, and how she’s helping support them with many different resources
Heather & Corrie Miracle of Fairfax, VA share their top advice for cottage food entrepreneurs based on what they’ve learned from creating their very successful paid membership filled with raving fans
Jenny Berg of Bend, OR started baking sourdough bread during the pandemic and shares how she turned her new hobby into a home business that has finally given her a sense of fulfillment in her work.
Jewel Burgess of Rancho Cordova, CA shares how she started a cottage food business selling realistic cake sculptures and what she’s learned from participating in four Food Network competitions.
Amanda Luecke of Maple Grove, MN shares how she built a thriving custom decorated cookie business with over 26k Instagram followers by focusing on her customers, community, & family.
Sarah Thongnopneua lives in San Anselmo, CA and shares how she grew her “bouCAKES” (floral cupcake bouquets) business from her home kitchen into a commercial kitchen & won a Food Network competition.
Janna Paterno of Charleston, WV shares why she wasn’t making money in her custom-decorated cookie business, despite having phenomenal decorating skills and more customers than she could ask for.
Sari Kimbell of Fort Collins, CO shares tons of advice about growing a food business, including pricing, choosing products, branding, selling wholesale, scaling up, find a commissary kitchen, and more.
Sari Kimbell of Fort Collins, CO shares the importance of having a strong “why”, what type of mindset you need to be successful, and what you should focus on when starting or growing a food business.
Jennie Gibson of Jacksonville, FL shares how she built one of the most successful home-based custom-decorated cake pop businesses in the United States despite facing many challenges along the way.
David Crabill takes you behind-the-scenes and shares what he learned from producing the first 50 podcast episodes, including the top 8 traits of successful cottage food entrepreneurs.
In this special 50th episode of The Forrager Podcast, hear from 16 Facebook group owners who share some of their best tips about starting and growing a cottage food business.
Anthony Rosemond lives in Phelan, CA and shares how he and his wife Yami moved from France to start a French bakery that went from selling macarons at farmers markets to now selling them nationwide.
Daniela Zographos of Anderson, SC shares how she niched down to only selling custom-decorated cake pops, which made her home bakery even more successful and gave her more time to spend with her kids.
Shelley Erickson of Big Lake, MN shares how she became the leader of the cottage food movement in her state, by improving her state’s cottage food law and starting a cottage food association.
Payshee Felt & Steve Bivans of St. Paul, MN share how they went from selling homemade, prepackaged popcorn at their local farmers market to selling $5k of popcorn in a weekend at large events.
Kourtney Rojas of Anaheim, CA shares her long, organic journey into creating a successful home pie business that helps support her family and gave her the freedom to quit her job.
Cake decorator and sugar artist April Spencer from Harrod, OH shares how she sells custom cakes and lollipops from home and on Etsy while being a nearly full-time stay-at-home mom of 3 young children.
Eric Sorensen from Pullman, WA shares how he runs a profitable small side business in retirement by selling sourdough bread, bagels, pretzels, cookies, and more from his driveway and farmers markets.
Justina Rucinski from Burlington, IA shares how she resurrected her custom cookie business after being sexually assaulted by a supposed client, and how her experience impacted the cottage food industry.
Beverly Clutter of Fairmont, WV shares how she organically built her successful side business by showcasing her custom decorated cookies on social media and focusing on serving others in her community.
Liz Marek of Beaverton, OR talks about running a cake decorating business, winning cake competitions, teaching around the world, and creating The Sugar Geek Show, which has over 300,000 followers.
Jeremy Davis from Charlotte, MI runs a lucrative custom-decorated cake business from home while working a full-time job, taking care of his kids, and occasionally appearing on national television.
Recently I was asked to briefly describe how COVID-19 has impacted the cottage food industry this year. Here’s what I wrote:
“The pandemic has impacted everyone differently, but it has impacted everyone. Some cottage food businesses have shut down temporarily or permanently, while just as many others have seen their sales skyrocket. More cottage food businesses started this year than any other by far, and overall, the pandemic has caused a huge surge of interest in this industry.”
That’s a very simplified view of what has been a crazy and complex year.
In this post, I’ll dig into some of the major trends and story lines that impacted the cottage food industry in 2020.
Lauren Inazu of St. Louis, MO shares what she’s learned about legally starting her cottage food business as a 13-year-old, in hopes of inspiring other young entrepreneurs to try it out as well.
Noel Martinez of Pittsburgh, PA sells Cuban-inspired, diet-specific, homemade baked goods. He shares some of the successes and struggles of growing his new business while working two part-time jobs.
Becca Aronowitz from Richmond Hill, GA shares everything cake pops (making, pricing, sculpting, decorating, etc), her journey from art teacher to business owner, and some crazy stories along the way.
Dr. Christine Bertz of Memphis, TN talks about the importance of beekeeping, how to start a beehive in your backyard, and how her fear of bees has transformed into an obsessive fascination of them.
Tina Karnath from Saginaw, MI owns a plethora of cookie cutters and decorates hundreds of custom-designed cookies each week. She talks about pricing, resources, and what she’s learned over the years.
David Kaminer of Denver, CO talks about running a lucrative home bakery, how 15 years of experience in food service influenced his business, and why he only sells one type of product: sourdough bread.
Lisa Kivirist talks about living off the land, moving away from the corporate life-style, creatively packaging products, diversifying income streams, advocating for laws, and everything in between.
Diana Shockley owns I Love Pie in Carmichael, CA. After selling fruit pies at the farmers market for 1.5 years, she expanded into her own storefront. How did she do it and why was she so successful?
David Crabill talks about how to start a cottage food business from your home kitchen by using your state’s cottage food law, and how to validate your product idea with paying customers.
If you want to start a home food business, there are a number of potential limitations that you should be aware of. Learn about the different limitations that states may include in their cottage food laws.
Many states limit the amount of homemade food that you can sell. Learn about why sales limits exist, how they’re enforced, and why they shouldn’t stop your food business from taking off.
In most states, you can only sell certain types of homemade food. Most cottage food laws only allow nonperishable food items, but some states allow almost all types of food, while other states are very restrictive. Learn about what types of homemade food products you can sell under your cottage food law.
Nearly all states require a label on cottage food products, and there are many things to consider when creating labels for your home food business.
When starting a home food business, it’s usually a good idea to take some form of food safety training, and it’s often required. Learn about the three most common types of food safety training.
When starting a cottage food operation, you may have to get your home kitchen inspected. Learn about some of the things you should check before an inspection.
Do you need to get a business license to sell homemade food? Learn about what to consider when setting up a business license for a cottage food operation.
When starting a home food business, you will likely need to deal with the health or ag department. Learn about what you should be aware of when contacting these departments.
Zoning laws may be the largest barrier to starting your cottage food business. Learn about why zoning laws exist and what you can do to comply with them.
For most of us, starting a business isn’t easy. Let’s say you want to start your home food business — what do you do? Depending on where you live, there could be any number of barriers between you and your first sale. Learn about a couple of the first steps to take when starting a cottage food operation.